SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Onondaga Historical Association (OHA) awarded Ed Riley its OHA Medal Award during an event Thursday morning at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, the former Hotel Syracuse.
Riley is the owner of the Hotel Syracuse and managing member of Hotel Syracuse Restoration, LLC.
The organization gives the OHA Medal Award in “recognition for outstanding and meritorious service to local history, and to the preservation and interpretation of the history of Onondaga County,” according to a news release issued April 19.
Hotel Syracuse Restoration, LLC oversees the facility’s restoration, which OHA describes as “one of the largest projects involving historic architecture that has ever been undertaken in Syracuse.”
“For his commitment to honoring the history of this community; for his meticulous restoration and preservation of one of our most important historic structures in our city; the Onondaga Historical Association takes the greatest pleasure in presenting this medal, its highest recognition and award,” Gregg Tripoli, executive director of the Onondaga Historical Association, said in announcing the award in the hotel’s Persian Terrace.
Riley has worked with the organization to select historic images from OHA collections that the Marriott Syracuse Downtown will use in decorating the hotel guest rooms and public spaces.
He has also created a gallery space in the hotel for an exhibit showcasing its “incredible history.”
“No one person does this. I have a tremendous team,” Riley said during his remarks in accepting the award.
Riley pointed out Gary Thurston, chairman and CEO of Syracuse–based Hayner Hoyt Corp., the general contractor on the restoration project.
He also thanked the architect, landscape architect, designers, and engineers involved in the effort.
“To all the people that came to our Monday breakfast meetings … the representatives of the city, the county, the state, who found a way to get this done. It truly is and has been a community effort to put this together,” Riley said.
OHA is also collaborating with Hotel Restoration, LLC to feature historically-inspired gift items for the hotel’s retail shop as well as the OHA Gift Gallery museum store.
Awarded just 21 times since its inception in 1945, the OHA Medal is a two-sided, bronze piece struck in 1894 to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the founding of Onondaga County.
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